Tonight at the San Francisco Film Festival, I enjoyed a preview screening of the upcoming documentary series “Soundbreaking” – scheduled to air on PBS in November of 2016. Wow, just wow. If I were you, I’d clear my calendar & set the TiVo – because this show is phenomenal.
The show is superbly crafted – just the right blend music performance & artistry, balanced with storytelling & interviews from the artists, producers, and engineers themselves. They share how they made some of the most iconic music of our time, and share WHY they made the music that they did. It’s not everyday you get to hang out in a recording studio and watch the magic as it happens, and this show puts lightening in a bottle.
Here’s just a smattering of the artists you’ll see in their element: The Beatles, Elton John, Brian Eno, Beck, Dave Grohl, Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Rait, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Ben Harper, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Eurythmics, Tom Petty, Chuck D….. my fingers are already tired from typing…
I was glued to my seat from start to finish. It reminded me of the simpler days when music had real value in our culture. Back in the day (not that long ago, really), creative artists would spend months (or years) of their lives crafting music in the studio, and we would gladly and eagerly buy the result. Not only did we buy it, we made it part of our own lives. Albums helped us understand who we were. Fast-forward to today, and music seems far more disposable. Music seems less a part of who we are. Vinyl albums & CDs gave way to iTunes downloads, and mp3’s have given way to Spotify streams. How an artist gets paid today for the time they spend creating and producing music seems to have become very, very complicated.
But I digress. I’ll have to save my musings on today’s music economy for a future time. Tonight I’m inspired by the show. I’m in awe of the masters who share with me how their creative sparks turned into raging infernos. Go to the Soundbreaking website, watch the trailer, like their Facebook page, and free up your nights in November. I’m going to stockpile some microwave popcorn, Sweet Tarts, & Dr. Pepper as I count down the days to its debut.